Title: Sixteen Trees of the Somme, The
Authors: Mytting, Lars
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 403
Year: 2017
Language: English
Description: When Edvard Hirifjell is orphaned as a young boy in 1971, his grandfather steps into the breach and raises Edvard. Now, two decades later with Sverre's death, Edvard is primed and ready to embrace the mystery of his family history, particularly the circumstances of his parents' deaths. His quest, complete with puzzles and clues, will take him from his home in Norway to the Shetlands and the battlefields of WW1, ultimately delivering an unusual inheritance.

Spanning a century and intricately woven through with a love of wood, this is a complex story of family, divided loyalties, and a search for truth.
Categories: Fiction, Family Saga, Historical, Mystery, Relationships, Tragedy/disaster, Scotland, France, 2019 Titles, Norway


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By: NAP 005 2019-08-07 15:09:32
Most enjoyed the story and its location. Others felt that the characters lacked realism. The title was rather a red herring and all were happy that this wasn't just another war story!

By: AUCK 422 2019-08-02 22:08:55
We thought that a real strength of the book was the setting, the places came to life even if the characters didn't always..... especially the women who were not that well developed. We felt that the plot could have been tighter, and was really only a tool to present a major theme - the on-going impact that the wars had on families and communities. On the whole though, a good read, enjoyed by most.

By: AUCK 038 2019-04-15 10:36:54
A complex and riveting tale; historically revealing and geographically expansive.

By: GORE 001 2019-04-15 10:36:01
What a special book - enjoyed by all ( even those who otherwise avoid books on war/holocaust). A great start to our reading year.

By: MILT 002 2019-04-15 10:34:32
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was a complex story with an air of mystery. The story was woven around the trees and the description of the wood. A book that could easily be read again.

By: CHCH 058 2019-04-15 10:27:21
This book was very intricately constructed and many in our group felt very confused at the beginning. We all felt that either a timeline or a family tree would have helped us unravel the plot, but acknowledged that such information would work against the author's "slow reveal" of detail. We were impressed by the author's knowledge of wood, guns and wartime history, and by the way this knowledge was worked into the narrative... Everyone in the group thought the translator had done a magnificent job, and we found the notes very helpful.All in all we felt it was a challenging but worthwhile read.

By: WELL 041 2019-04-15 10:20:03
We all enjoyed reading this book. The story/mystery unfolded slowly and kept us absorbed. A clever and very complicated mystery which also kept us 'on our toes' as the pace quickened towards the conclusion. Perhaps the character of Gwen is slightly unreal/overdone. Well translated to English. Excellent notes.

By: FERN 001 2019-04-15 10:17:00
It is a rare meeting when we all say we loved it! We loved the piecing together of the puzzle, the interesting focus of the story and the well developed characterisation. We all felt we were transported to the place setting, as the description was so good. Highly recommended.

By: ROTO 002 2019-04-15 10:12:44
Some lack of 'fluidity', perhaps due to translation from Norwegian to English? Memories and stories were sparked with the history of the World Wars. The complexity of the writing was attributed to the "long Norwegian nights", by a number of group members. The group enjoyed the writing and story overall, but did find it got a bit drawn out towards the end, and could have been resolved a bit more succinctly.

By: PUTAR 001 2019-04-15 10:08:09
All enjoyed this, but felt it was a complex plot.

By: ROTO 006 2019-04-15 10:06:57
Book was enjoyed by all present at the meeting. Many-layered and complex and very riveting. Generated great discussion.

By: AUCK 256 2019-04-11 13:16:54
Great book that was enjoyed by all. History of the Somme, Norway and Shetlands interesting and the isolation of the latter was well demonstrated in the writing. The author wound his love of wood into this story. End a bit confusing and left you guessing!

By: HAMIL 029 2019-03-07 09:57:21
We all enjoyed The Sixteen Trees on the Somme.It is a more demanding read than might be expected for what is basically an adventure/mystery story. The plot has many fine threads, and it is small pieces of information that ultimately fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The characters are interesting, and the novel cleverly deals with two world wars, a present time setting in the 1990s, and three major physical settings. We all loved the sections set in the Shetland Islands - Mytting evokes the isolation and desolation of the islands brilliantly. The role of wood in the plot is intriguing ...

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